RALEIGH — The state is closing an adult admissions ward at Cherry Hospital, a state psychiatric hospital in Goldsboro, where a dying man was ignored by nursing staff.
In a statement Friday, the head of the state Department of Health and Human Services said the 16 staffers on duty at the time of the death have been removed from direct patient care duties and given other assignments for a period of at least 60 days.
The employees will receive more training and re-education until the hospital director decides they are ready to resume caring for patients under the supervision of a training director, DHHS Secretary Dempsey Benton said.
Steven Sabock, 50, died at the mental hospital on April 29, after sitting in a chair for more than 22 hours without food or help using the bathroom. Hospital staff members were captured by security video playing cards and watching television in the room where Sabock sat.
"On behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services and myself personally, we deeply regret that Mr. Sabock died, and that it occurred while a patient at Cherry Hospital," Benton said. "The Department finds the circumstances related to this tragic death at Cherry Hospital completely unacceptable."
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